North Carolina Personal Injury and Disability Lawyers

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4 Questions About Nursing Home Abuse Answered

1. What do I do if I suspect nursing home abuse?You should immediately notify the head of the nursing home and document it in writing. Ask them to investigate and call you. Make more frequent visits unexpectedly. Keep a close eye on the abused person. Follow up on your request. If it is something that is causing serious medical problems, request a doctor be consulted immediately. Follow up with the doctor. Start a journal of your visits to the home, what you observe, what you are told, and the problems you are seeing.

2. How is a nursing home case filed?A lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the abuse and make a determination if there would be a good chance the elderly person would recover money as a result of the abuse. The report from the N. C. Division of Facilities goes a long way in helping with this decision. Most elderly people need to have a court-appointed guardian to file the action as they are not usually competent to handle their own affairs. Once the lawyer determines that a good case exists, a complaint is filed with the Court against the nursing home.

3. What if someone dies as a result of abuse?The family of the deceased person must open an estate and have someone appointed to act as the Administrator of the Estate. This person then hires the lawyer and acts as the representative during the lawsuit. If the jury awards money, then the heirs of the deceased person inherit the money after paying the estate bills, attorney fees and costs.

4. What if I believe the abused person is in jeopardy or nothing is being done?
If you believe the matter is serious enough and you are not satisfied with the care being given or the follow up on any of your requests, you should immediately notify the North Carolina Division of Facilities. They have an investigation division that follows up on all complaints regarding nursing homes. The phone number is 919-733-8499. Follow up with this call and ask for a written report on their investigation. You can also make arrangements to have the abused person moved if need be.

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